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Thread: Tufty's diary

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    1,211

    Tufty's diary

    I've been using the forum regularly for 8 months but haven't started any threads, I dip in and out of others, posting my progress and supporting others and have found it really helpful and supportive. I feel the time has come to create a thread, partly to ask for support, advice and encouragement but also to record my journey without hijacking other threads all the time.

    A brief history, I first had a panic attack at the age of 26 when suffering from post natal depression, I tried some tricyclic antidepressants but they made me very dopey and didn't help the panic so I stopped after a month, the panic and depression lasted a few months but I coped. Aged 30 I had some panic attacks and general anxiety again after moving house with two young children but slowed down, took time off work and it went.

    Then 33 I had a 'major episode' (don't know what else to call it), don't know what the exacerbating factors were but for 10 months I had crippling anxiety became agrophobic for a while, this lead to depression and eventually hospitalisation - which was of little help. Back then (this was 2003) I had CBT, psychoanalysis, art therapy, tried Citalopram, Venlafexine and Imipramine. The SSRI's gave me intolerable anxiety - electric current running through my body, the shakes, basically a fear of living, the Imipramine made me sleepy but didn't help much. I started Prozac at very low dose (2mg liquid increasing daily) at the start of 2004, increasing the doseage to 40mg daily and I went back to being me.

    Life for 8 years had been really good, taking between 20-80mg Prozac weekly, I'm crap with meds and forget to take them, if I left too long between doses I get a bit irritable and it reminded me to take it. In March of this year, now aged 42, I realised I had not been taking the Prozac much, had been extreme dieting, chronically stressed and suffering with frequent colds and I started to feel overwhelmed and anxious, I immediately started on 40mg of Prozac again and had all the side effects of SSRI start up and 'broke down' again. I had 12 weeks off work, reduced the Prozac to 20mg a day - increased to 40mg after a month without improvement - took that for a month without improvement and after decreasing it to 10mg a day started to improve.

    From June to September I improved vastly, I had the 'blips' lasting up to a week but generally feeling good. However, for the last month I have been on a definate downward trend. I have been taking 20mg of Prozac every 3 days for the last 4 months, although this is not the recognised therapeutic dose the clinical trials report that 5mg of Prozac is effective in those sensitive to medication and it's worked for me for the past 9 years (or has it???). I increased the dose to 20mg every other day - with an exacerabation in anxiety.

    So to now, with frequent panic attacks, nearly constant high anxiety causing chest pain, diarrhea etc I have come to the conclusion that Prozac is no longer working for me, the side effects of taking it at high doses outweigh the benefits of taking it. I took my last tablet on Wednesday and have been prescribed Escitalopram liquid to start a week after the medication free period. I am armed with Diazepam, Zopiclone, Claire Weeks CD's & books, my CBT info, relaxation and breathing resources, a massage booked for Wednesday and the support of my family and friends. I'm going to be drinking a lot of Camomile tea, eating well and walking the dog in this bracing cold air too.

    I'm still in two minds about starting the Escitalopram - I may go med free but after 9 years I'm scared my brain has forgotton how to function without medication and it's nice to have the option of the medication isn't it?

    I'd love to hear from anyone, particularly those who have come off meds after a long period, those who have gone med free, those having a bad time at the moment, anyone on Escitalopram or infact anyone at all

    Thanks for reading

    Love and hugs to all

    Sam x

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Re: Stopping Fluorextine after 9 years

    Hi Sam, just wanted to wish you luck, you've been a huge support to me and others and we'll all help you through this, lots of love and xxxxxx
    __________________
    You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it x x x x x x x x

  3. #3
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    Mar 2012
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    Re: Stopping Fluorextine after 9 years

    3 days since last Prozac (10mg) - feeling 5/10.
    Slept better than I have for a week and without any meds
    Woke with less anxiety but it has increased during the day, feeling tired which is OK - I can cope with tired. The nausea, diarrheoa and heavy chest feelings have gone today but still have a burning sensation in my mouth and tongue, hot flashes, headache and generally achy all over but all in all much better than I have been in the last week, no panic attacks and feeling positive. I feel less tense and more even tempered too, I know it maybe the calm before the storm but I'm enjoying it whilst it lasts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    96

    Re: Stopping Fluorextine after 9 years

    Hi Samhar, I have taken Escitalopram (Cipralex) this was after starting Citalopram and having awful side effects that made me so scared. In the end I tried to go without anything but it was all too much, I hit rock bottom and thought what have I got to loose and I started Cipralex and expected awful start up side effects but I didnt get any. I took it at night so I would be asleep when anything happened. I think I had a cold runny nose etc, I did not feel any more anxious or tearful, it slowly gave me my appetite back and could start sleeping. It saved my life and I seem to remember it working pretty quickly too like after about 1 week and a half. It really did help alot I remember thinking at the time I wish I had tried it sooner and also sooner in life. I took it for 5 years and it was great. I think in between I got down days etc normal reaction to being pissed off at work or an argument but I never deteriorated. After 3 years I went up from 10mg to 20mg one winter, I seem to suffer from symptoms of SAD. After 5 years I felt it stopped working had a down time but the maximum dose is 20mg so now I have started Mirtazapine and slowly come off Cipralex. So far no disconitnuation symptoms. I hope you get well soon.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    1,211

    Re: Stopping Fluorextine after 9 years

    Thank you Coco, I'm going to wait a week and see how I feel, it's reassuring to hear that you had awful side effects with Citalopram but not with Cipralex - I'm hoping that it may be the one for me too. Good luck with the Mirtazapine - a friend of mine says it saved her- she's taken it for years and says it's great
    Sam

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    1,211

    Re: Stopping Fluoxetine after 9 years

    4 days off Prozac.
    2 days without Diazepam.
    I slept reasonably well again without medication, waking for short periods but without panic and eventually drifted off again.
    Physically - tingly mouth and lips, headache, achey, muscle twitching, tired but no chest pain or palpitations or nausea - the need to check my pulse has gone and that's not been through conscious thought. I got some nerve pain in my teeth and jaw last night - acute, sudden but short lived - over the left side which lasted for about an hour, felt like bad sensitivity like when you've eaten ice cream on a sore tooth - completely gone now.
    Emotionally - anxious but not severely so, more hopeful - I've written my Christmas shopping list this morning and done an online shop - something I couldn't of done last week.
    I'm going to make pancakes for breakfast, make a cake later, do some shopping, ironing and walk the dog before fireworks tonight. Last night I did some relaxation exercises and it was the first time in two weeks that I've been able to actually relax and listen to them properly. So feeling generally optomistic
    Hope everyone is OK today - there seems to have been a dip in mood and increase in anxiety in alot of fellow sufferers at the moment
    Love and hugs to all
    Sam

  7. #7
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    Mar 2012
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    1,211

    Re: Stopping Fluoxetine after 9 years

    Feeling 6/10 today - considering Tuesday was a 3/10 this is a vast improvement. The anxiety symptoms have continued the same as above, but no panic attacks, 4 days off Prozac and so far so good. More relaxation tonight and then an early night as back to work tomorrow. x

  8. #8

    Re: Stopping Fluoxetine after 9 years

    Sam, you were one of the regular commentators and supporters when I joined the Forum and wrote 'Bosher's Blog', (detailing my journey with Prozac), and so I come to comment and support you in your journey from Prozac. I hope everything goes well for you, because it's a big decision and step you're taking. Only you know what feels right for you, and only you can take the steps you've chosen. With the help and support of your Family & Friends, I hope your journey is as good as it can be. Good luck. x

    For myself, I can only say that Prozac has transformed my life completely, where once I was existing, now I'm actually living, and that's after 3 decades of almost constant misery. Let's hope ALL our journeys as fellow sufferers are successful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    425

    Re: Stopping Fluoxetine after 9 years

    Hi Sam I have followed your posts on other threads and like Nicola wish you all the best....

    You might remember I was on a high dose of Citalopram and came straight off and onto this 20mg.... It's been really good for me, of course we all have shit days but don't we all.

    Give it a try and see how you go.

    Cheers

    Jarrod

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    211

    Re: Stopping Fluoxetine after 9 years

    Good Luck Sam, looking forward to hearing how it all goes.x

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